The existing park infrastructure and amenities at Newell Beach foreshore are scattered over a distance of approximately 290 m. The BBQ facilities, basketball court and children’s playground are separated from the public amenities block with no formal footpath in between.
Other parks throughout the shire have had upgrades however it has been many years since any were done at Newell Beach.
Prior to determining improvements, the community was asked what, if any, improvements they wanted to the foreshore. Consultation included a survey delivered to Newell Beach households. The survey results were collated and published, and residents were invited to a drop in session in Newell Beach to discuss the results with Council officers face to face.
The Drop In Session held at the BBQ Shelter on the Esplanade, early in December was well attended with around 30 people dropping in throughout the afternoon. Many were pleased Council made the effort to come out to meet with people face to face.
As a result of the consultation, the following is proposed:
- A nature playground in Phil Lunn Park will not go ahead. The existing playground equipment adjacent to the BBQ area and basketball court will however be renewed. This will result in play equipment suitable for children of all ages and will bring the equipment up to Australian safety standards. The new play equipment is scheduled to be installed in March 2021.
- Many wanted better protection of the foreshore vegetation. In response, a Foreshore Management Plan for Newell Beach will be prepared and further information may be found here.
- Some mentioned speeding of vehicles on Marine Parade was an issue. Council will conduct a traffic survey to gather data on vehicle speed, time of travel, and number of vehicles. If there is evidence of vehicles speeding, residents will be asked about speed reduction devices such as warning signs like those at Ellis Beach. If there’s strong desire, there’s potential to include items in the 21/22 Capital Works Budget for adoption next financial year. No decision will be made without first consulting with the Newell Beach community.
Survey respondents were generally in support of a footpath along the foreshore, however some who attended the drop in session were less keen. A pathway would benefit those on mobility scooters and it would certainly be safer than using the road. Others felt a concrete pathway would detract from the natural environment. At this stage, Council has deferred plans for a footpath but may investigate a meandering path, using material such as decomposed granite which has a more natural appearance.
Council received 97 responses to the survey. New outdoor seating areas and a new nature playground around the fig tree in Phil Lunn Park were ranked as the highest priorities, with replacement of the BBQ and shelter and more outdoor exercise equipment ranked lowest. When asked about safety, a footpath and/or shared pathway between Rankin Street boat ramp and Phillips Street was rated as the highest priority. While a few wanted areas fenced off to stop vehicles entering parks, on the whole there was very little appetite for formalising parking and/or fencing off areas. There’s a very strong sentiment in the community to keep Newell Beach natural.
Drop In Session to discuss results and proposed actions: 2:30 to 5:30 Wednesday 9 December 2020 at the BBQ Shelter on the Esplanade.
A community survey has been released gather feedback from residents as to what facilities they think should be prioritised, and what safety features are important.
The link to the survey is here, and we will be mailing surveys with the link to all Newell Beach ratepayers.
CLOSING DATE 11 SEPTEMBER 2020
For more information, please contact Gaye Scott on 0418 793 009 or email email@example.com